Recent advances in pathogenesis and management of hypereosinophilic syndromes

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Idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome is a largely heterogeneous disorder defined until now as persistent marked hypereosinophilia of unknown origin generally complicated by end-organ damage. Recent studies clearly indicate that many patients fulfilling the diagnostic criteria of this syndrome can now be classified as presenting one of two major disease variants: the myeloproliferative or the lymphocytic variant. Research in cellular and molecular biology has provided firm evidence for the existence of discrete hematological disorders underlying these variants, questioning the pertinence of continued reference to ‘idiopathic’ hypereosinophilic syndrome in such patients. Furthermore, identification of these variants has a number of prognostic and therapeutic implications that must be taken into consideration for adequate management of these patients.

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